How To Set Up Solar System For Camping

I have been camping the hard way for years with ice and eskies now I am doing it smarter and have been experimenting with renewable energy.Several years ago I brought myself my first camping fridge after endless research and trying to work out what was most cost effective.

I finally decided on a Waeco CF110 which is designed to run on 12 or 24 volt DC and with the aid of a transformer 240 volt AC. Like most people I tried to do every thing on the cheap and I searched high and low through the classified ads and Tradingpost and I brought two 40watt solar panel and a couple of old 5Amp Solarex Regulators. But what I did spend up big on a good quality glass matt deep cycle battery that had a storage capacity of 100Ahr.

I connected all the components together and tested the system and to my surprise it worked fine for the first couple of days. I found that the load required to keep the fridge running was not covered by the Renewable energy supplied by the two 40watt solar panels and in fact fell quite short. So back to the Classifieds I went and as I could afford it I brought a few more 5Amp Solarex Regulators and a 60 and a 75-watt solar panel.

I made many silly mistakes until I did some research. The first was I was using a series of different size solar panels connected in parallel, which I have since found out is not right, as the solar panels will draw power from each other to try and equalize the voltage across each solar panel. The second critical mistake that I made was to use a 5Amp regulator for each solar panel that again confused the issue and caused them all to regulate at a much lower voltage as they were sensing the solar panel voltage on the larger solar panels and not the battery voltage.

After lots of trial and error I bit the bullet and brought a second 75-watt solar panel and a Pulsonic regulator that is rated to 20 Amps and is totally programmable. A 20 amp Regulator is more that enough to handle the supply from the two 75-watt solar panels and because they are both the same size there is confusion or power draw to equalize voltages etc. These two panels together with my 100Amp hour Glass matt deep cycle battery more than satisfy my energy requirements for my Waeco CF110 and series of 12V lights that I string up around the camp giving us plenty of light.

The regulator senses the battery voltage and then controls the amperage input so that the battery does not charge to quickly or does not over charge, which protects your battery life. Another safety function is that the regulator will cut off the power to your load being your fridge etc. at a preset voltage; this also protects your battery and extends the life of it. On a good sunny day this system reaches the float state by around 2:00pm and then it regulates to the load requirements of the system so that the battery is still fully charged to get you through the night and to the point that the sun is up and the charging process starts again.

Find out realistic tips about the topic of search obituaries – make sure to read the web page. The times have come when proper info is truly at your fingertips, use this chance.

Posted under Build Your Own Solar Panels

This post was written by assistant on September 28, 2010


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